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SHELLEY KERR has set Scotland one target at the World Cup: “Get out the group stages.”
Kerr named the 23 players who will participate in Scotland’s first ever World Cup, where they will play England, Japan and Argentina.
In what will be an extremely difficult task, the Scottish head coach called on her players to “embrace the occasion” and believes that in doing so, they can beat the odds and and make the knock-out stages of the competition.
“There’s absolutely no doubt it’s our first time but the target has already been set, we want to get out of the group stages,” Kerr said at Hampden Park. “Throughout the [qualifying] campaign we showed character in abundance and resilience but I think the biggest thing is we’ve got a talented group of players and that will stand us in good stead.
“The most important thing though is that we embrace the occasion and have an enjoyable tournament. But it’s more enjoyable if we win games and I have every confidence in this group of players that they can get us out of the group stages.”
Kerr has called upon Arsenal’s Kim Little, who missed the European Championships after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in May 2017, but left out her teammate Emma Mitchell.
Mitchell, who also missed Euro 2017 due to injury, scored the winner in the Gunners’ victory over Manchester City last Sunday but has battling various injuries throughout the season.
Manchester United’s Lizzie Arnot and Manchester City’s Jen Beattie, along with Little, get the chance to compete at a major tournament after missing the Euros two years ago.
On the players that were unfortunate not to make the squad, Kerr said it was hard narrowing the final squad down to 23.
She said: “It was so tough choosing the squad. Throughout the campaign and the last year and a half we’ve used over 35 players, so to narrow it down to 23 was really tough with some really tough decisions.
“But, you know, it’s all about the 23 that have been selected for the first time the Scottish women’s national team will go to a World Cup.
“It’s an honour, a privilege and their families should be really proud of their achievements.
“Throughout the campaign we have shown character in abundance and resilience. But the biggest thing is we have a talented group of players and that will stand us in good stead going to the World Cup.”
Glasgow City’s Jo Love said she was unsure whether to answer a call from Kerr but praised her manager for the personal touch when delivering the news.
She said: “I’d got back from the gym yesterday and I was sitting quite innocently watching Homes Under the Hammer while having my breakfast.
“Then my phone lights up and it’s Shelley calling. I was like, ‘Do I answer it or do I not?’
“I wasn’t sure what she wanted to speak about but I answered and it was so nice to have that personal touch and for Shelley to actually tell me I was in the squad.
“I’m not too sure what she said after that because I was too busy crying. It was wonderful.”
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